New police inspector for Mid Sussex ‘keen to hit the ground running’

Mid Sussex will soon welcome new Prevention Inspector Darren Taylor who is ‘keen to hit the ground running’.

Based at Haywards Heath Police Station, Insp Taylor will be overseeing a number of police officers and PCSOs.

“I am really proud to have secured the Mid Sussex Prevention role – it is an area I have never worked before,” the 47-year-old said this week.

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“It has got so many different aspects of it – different pockets of community – and that is what I find fascinating. I am looking forward to driving new ideas.”

Mid Sussex Prevention Inspector Darren Taylor

Insp Taylor has been in policing for 18 years, the majority in community prevention, which he described as the ‘forefront of policing’.

“It is traditional and what people want and respect I think – this is what I love doing,” he said.

He has been working at Gatwick Police Station for the past few years and was previously a Prevention Sergeant in Crawley.

He officially takes up his new role on Monday (May 4), however he has already been working behind the scenes.

“I am keen to hit the ground running – individuals have already been flared up, I have been driving forward the partnership working, contacting residents, councils and key stakeholders.

“One I have really noticed already is how positive the councils are – they really understand their communities.

“A key issue flagged up has been neighbour disputes which I will be dealing with robustly.

“I believe everyone has the right to live at home and have a peaceful life, we all work long hours.

“Working with councillors, I will be very robust if people can’t behave themselves.”

Insp Taylor said one of his goals was to work more closely with the rural communities.

He said crime was down due to the coronavirus, however the force is still seeing burglaries, but mainly at farms and in outbuildings.

And he promised robust action against fly-tippers. “I absolutely despair, it is lazy, disgusting, one of the most anti-social things people can do – it ruins communities,” he said.

“One thing I will be doing is working to deter this, making sure we are as robust as possible, so there are convictions.”

He said working with the community was key: “Without community intelligence we can’t achieve what we want to do. It is a big area Mid Sussex, we would love to be patrolling it all the time but we can’t do that.

“We are all one team, and my team can’t achieve everything without the partners and stakeholders.

“So let’s work as a team and do some really great stuff together and make Mid Sussex an even better place to live.”

Insp Taylor said it was positive the government was investing more in policing and that PCSOs were on the increase.

He also praised Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne who has been ‘really supportive’.

He added that residents of Mid Sussex report crimes quickly and help the police.

“There is a real community feel about Mid Sussex,” he said.

“When there is a crime people do seem to report it straight away. And what is great today is people have CCTV footage and we really appreciate this.”

At home, Insp Taylor is a dad and a big James Bond fan. He is from London but has lived in Sussex for many years.

‘We need a support system’

County councillor for Burgess Hill East Anne Jones said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ Insp Taylor was taking up the Mid Sussex Prevention Inspector role.

“Even though he hasn’t arrived yet he is getting grips with issues that are really important to our residents,” she said.

“We have always had brilliant police in Mid Sussex. We have always been really fortunate with everybody.

“There are some issues that really do need working on – domestic violence, anti-social behaviour.

“We do not have a support system here for domestic violence victims. I am just tired of people living in fear, it really gets to me.

“We used to have a refuge in Mid Sussex. We have got to get to grips with it.”

Mrs Jones welcomed government legislation for domestic violence victims, but said: “We want to see this rolled out in Mid Sussex.

“We need a proper support system here, not in Horsham, not in Brighton.

“Whether it is a male or female, we have got to make sure we give people in Mid Sussex what they deserve.

“And it doesn’t matter whether we are rich or poor, living in a violent situation is absolutely terrifying.”

She added that lockdown had accelerated the issue of domestic violence and how desperate people are because they cannot escape and leave their homes.

To keep up to date with what Insp Taylor is doing in our community, follow him on Twitter @InspectorDarren.

He is also using the hashtag #TeamMidSussex as part of his new role, and is encouraging others to do the same.